NFTs: trip down memory lane

When did it all begin, what where important projects and what helped form NFTs as we know them today.

For the last few months, NFTs have been experiencing massive boom in popularity and huge rise in prices. So, let’s take a look where it all began and what is the history of NFTs.

The history of Non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) can be divided into a few periods of time. Let’s start at the beginning, and if you are completely lost, check our intro into NFTs.

2012: Era of colored coins

One of the biggest pioneers of the NFTs. The colored coins were based on Bitcoin so they can be used as more than just “Bitcoin”. Basically they were small denominations of Bitcoin and the main idea was to add meta data to Bitcoin transactions.

The reason why this project massively failed was that you had to agree on some value and if one of the parties didn’t agree, the whole trade went down. But, even though it was failure, it opened doors to many other projects which could take a lesson from this project and develop better system.

2014: Counterparty

After Colored Coins, people realized that even if BTC was the first cryptocurrency, it can’t have these types of features. Counterparty was a financial platform and open-source internet protocol that was built on top of Bitcoin. It was a decentralized exchange with a crypto token called XPG. This lead to birth of a project called Rarepepes. This project’s main idea was to make Meme NFTs based on Pepe the frog. More than 1700 different cards were created by over 200 artists and this became what we called the base idea for NFT’s.

2015: Spells of Genesis

Spells of Genesis was a game which was the first to link the in-game assets to blockchain. This game was the first one to launch ICO and it’s development was funded by their own token called BitCrystals (also used as an in-game currency).

2016: Colab of Counterparty and Force of Will, birth of Rare Pepes

The year 2016 was important for NFTs because of several moments. First one was when the Countreparty partnered with card game Force of Will. This partnership put the game on the 4th place in the ranking of card games in North America, behind games like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-oh. This was one of those important moments even though the game was completely new to blockchain, but it still managed to gain huge success, which signalled the value of putting assets into blockchain.

Other important moment was the birth of Rare Pepes. In the October of 2016, memes of Pepe the frog got huge hype. It had so much success that there were experts that have to decide if the meme was rare or wasn’t. Just that can tell us how hyped up it was.

2017: Cryptopunks

Two Canadian software developers, Matt Hall and John Watkinson, got inspired by London punk scene and tried to put the punks into NFTs. They algorithmically generated 10 000 unique crypto punks by using computer code. These NFTs became huge success in 2020 and 2021 when some of them (the rare ones) were sold for millions of dollars. For example Crypto Punk #7804 sold for $7.6 Million Dollars USD, while others were sold in range between $10,000 to $100,000.

2020 + 2021: Beeple and NFT hype

March 2021 marked the month when an NFTs was sold for highest price ever. It was Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” and it got sold for unbelievable $69 Million dollars. The NFT is showing 5000 of Beeple’s artworks, which he drew every day from May, 2007 for 5000 days. This marked the start of a huge hype train around NFTs on which famous celebrities, athletes or musicians jumped.

The future of NFTs is being written now and it has endless opportunities. We will be witnesses as the new space of art will shift from raw and experimental to exceedingly more useful and mainstream. The possible rise of Metaverse will definitely play a huge role in this shift and other things like tokenization, programmability and collaboration will be also important. But we can be sure that for NFTs the future is more than favourable.

Thank you for reading.




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Štěpán Táborský

Štěpán Táborský

College student, Crypto enthusiast, working at CryptoHunters, Intern at Škoda Auto a.s.

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